Stories Set to Music

Linda pubpixDon’t you just love when life surprises you? Last week I did a small book tour with my sister, Jan Sikes. Many of you know she’s also a writer. And a songwriter. And a musician. She comes by the music part honest so I try not to hold it against her. But it really irks me to death that she stood in the heavenly voice line when the good Lord was passing out gifts! I don’t exactly know where I was (maybe I was watching the cowboys) but I totally missed the voice line! Anyway…. she slid in a country music CD called SAM COLT AND JESUS by Robby White and my brain started whirling with story ideas.

I can only say that Robby White had to have been an outlaw in a past life. There’s no way around it. He has the old west (and Texas) embedded in his soul.

He’s the first to admit it. That’s why he wrote A Hundred Years Too Late.

The song, Sam Colt and Jesus, came about after a friend of Robby’s spoke of how scared he was and that he sat up nights worrying about the state of world. Robby says that if you have Jesus in your heart and a Colt in your boot, you have nothing to fear.

Robby WhiteMusic is in Robby’s DNA. His grandfather, W.L. Bill Hopper, was an old-time preacher and a prolific songwriter with countless hymns to his credit. If you pick up one of those old red hymnals, you’ll find plenty of songs in there by W.L. Bill Hopper—My Anchor, One Touch of His Hand, I Shall Be Changed to name a few.

Maybe the reason Robby’s songs resonate so deeply inside me is that I’m about to start a story about a preacher outlaw who sees no way around using his guns. He’s going to make people listen to his sermons–the easy way or the hard.

Or it could be that I just share his love of the old west.

Or it could be the line—God made men. Sam Colt made ‘em equal.

Or it could be Robby’s baritone that makes me think of smoky saloons.

Whatever it was, I immediately bought my own copy of the CD so I could listen to these over and over.

The cost is only $10! Places where you can buy it.

 AMAZON  FACEBOOK (Like his page while you’re there.)

Dave Pilot, Senior Editor, Outlaw Magazine says this: “Robby White’s got a voice so country it’ll hurt your damn feelings while it heals your soul. His brand of roughshod vocals brimming with nuanced power is a rarity and a treasure.”

Sam Colt and Jesus

The world lost great storytellers when it lost Marty Robbins and Johnny Cash. Do you love songs that tell a story? Who is or was your favorite singer? Or…has life surprised you lately?

* * * * * * * * *

About Robby:

He has been married to his beautiful wife, Danielle, for 15 years and has two daughters. Robby has been playing venues all across Texas and Oklahoma to the delight of his ever growing fan base. His repertoire includes everything from Clapton to Muddy Waters and everything in between. He plays them all but with one huge difference, he plays them Robby White style. You haven’t heard Eleanor Rigby until you have heard Robby perform it. He finds the soul of the song and delivers it in a way that you will never forget.

Website | + posts

Here in the Texas Panhandle, we do love our cowboys. There's just something about a man in a Stetson and jeans that makes my heart beat faster. I'm not much of a cook but I love to do genealogy and I'm a bit of a rock hound. I'm also a NY Times & USA Today bestselling author of historical western romance. You can contact me through my website and I'd love to connect with you on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and more. HAPPY READING!

30 thoughts on “Stories Set to Music”

  1. What a beautiful article Linda. I’ll have to find this CD, of course my favorite singer is Mr. George, but I also loved a great many of the older story tellers. Willie Nelsons, Red Headed Stranger is an excellent song with a story. There are so many greats that have passed that today’s music just doesn’t touch.

    • Hi Tonya…….Thanks for coming over. Always great seeing you. Yes, King George is certainly on my list too. He’s very special. So is Willie. It broke my heart when Merle Haggard died. I loved that man too. You just can’t beat those old country singers. I like that Robby is keeping those old ways and traditions alive.

      Have a fantastic day, my friend!

  2. Linda, it is definitely a small world. My husband and I met Robbie a couple of years ago at his “day” job. We all started talking music as we are big music lovers and quickly found out what music means to Robby. He is a great guy with a great talent. Thank you both for sharing your talents and thank you for a great post!

    • Oh my gosh, Melanie! That’s too crazy. I’m really envious that you know him. I certainly agree about the great talent. Robby has that for sure and he may not be aware of it, but he’s gaining a huge audience who loves his type of music. I’m glad you enjoyed my post.

      Blessings for a beautiful day!

    • Hi Janine……Thank you so much for stopping by. I couldn’t agree more. Storytelling in any form sounds good to me. Those set to music are even better. You get two things all rolled into one.

      Big hugs and wishes for a wonderful day!

  3. Your new book sounds like a winner, Linda! I, too, love songs that tell stories. That’s one of the things I like most about the old time country music – so many of the songs were stories. I had an old Kenny Rogers cassette tape growing up, and I must have listened to that album hundred of times. I loved songs like Coward of the County or Charlie Daniel’s Devil Went Down to Georgia. I’ll have to look into Robby’s music, too. Thanks for the recommendation. 🙂

    • Hi Karen……..I’m glad you like my blog. Kenny Rogers’ songs never grow old. I think he had a lot of the old west in him too. Loved The Gambler. And Charlie Daniels…what can you say? He’s a legend. I’m really anxious to write that new story. The ideas are spinning in my head. I can even see certain scenes that have to be in the book. But….I still have to finish what I’m working on. That’s okay though. I think my outlaw preacher will stick around. He seems the patient sort.

  4. Hi my friend. Great post. I grew up with county western, so it’d be way too hard to pick out my favorite artist or song. There are way too many and we’re losing the older artists way too fast. But I do love the story telling songs, which are most of the old C&W ones. I had a business partner who played in the band and although it isn’t C&W when he’d take a ride on “In the Mood” everyone would go out of their minds. He was great and I miss him and the band. Now for sharing a secret that only Linda knows. I actually play the bass guitar, but I have to admit that the band only let me join them at closing time when most of the people didn’t care what the music sounded like. I love to jam, but haven’t had time for it in so many years that I doubt I could play today. But my bass holds hands with my Fender Stratocaster (Fiesta Red) under my bed and I’ve promised my grandkids that whoever learns the guitar and/or bass (and are passionate about it) will get the instruments. So much for sharing secrets! Thanks for a wonderful post that brought back lots of memories. LOL Love, Phyliss

    • Hi Phyliss…..I think it’s so cool that you used to play bass in a band. I would love to have come out and seen you in action back then. Bet you really had the crowd shimmying and shaking. You’ll have to tell me more of those stories one of these times when we’re together. I’m sure you have tons of them. You’ve got to put some of this stuff in your books.

      Glad I could bring back memories. Almost Happy Birthday time.

      • Happy, happy birthday to you today!!!! I just wish I were home to celebrate our birthdays together instead of having to wait until July. Again, happy, happy 21st birthday … isn’t that right or is 35th? LOL

    • Hi Kim……..Thank you for coming by. It sounds like you and I were cut from the same cloth, girl! Nothing beats a good story, no matter the format. Marty Robbins was my all time favorite singer for telling about gunfighters, outlaws and plain old cowboys who loved the wrong woman. 🙂

      Have a great day!

  5. I grew up with country music, and with my dad being a country musician I listened to the likes of Hank Snow and Ernest Tubb (TX) as a baby. Later on as an adult, Merle Haggard and Waylon Jennings (TX) were my favorites–and still are. These days it’s all about Toby Keith (OK) for me now, although I also still listen to Lee Roy Parnell (TX), Montgomery Gentry (KY) and Alan Jackson (GA)–Alan being my mom’s all-time hands-down favorite, no question! 🙂 I’ve tended to prefer musicians who write their own songs, and I lean heavily toward deep baritone voices. And to round out the picture, I myself also grew up as a musician and played in weekend or bar bands for twenty years (when I was old enough) playing soft rock/country music, like Linda Ronstadt and the Eagles.

    • Hi Eliza…….You have a heavy history of country music. Wow! Very interesting that you played in a band. I loved Linda Ronstadt. And the Eagles still are my go-to rock and roll group. Love, love, love those guys. Of course, it’s not the same now that Glen Fry passed away. I hope your dad is still playing.

  6. Thank you for telling the world about Robby White’s new CD project, Sam Colt and Jesus!! It is truly unique and anyone who has a fascination with the old west will love these songs. I truly think every song needs to tell a story, or it’s just wasted words. So much of what you hear on mainstream country radio stations today have no substance – nothing you can sink your teeth into and nothing that evokes a feeling. I love the Texas music artists that I have ran across over the past seven years – Cody Jinks, Tommy Alverson, Tom McElvain, Davin James, Jamie Richards, Mark Powell, Mark Alan Atwood, Robby White, Jeff Hopson, Sunny Sweeney, Aubrey Lynn England – well, I can see the list is going to get way too long. If you are tired of what is coming out of Nashville, check out Texas artists! They are still keeping it real!

    • Hi Jan! Thanks for coming by. I know you were so busy. Yep, you know some very good musicians and are friends with most of them. Just keep introducing me to them and I’ll keep listening to their music.

      Love you, sister!

  7. Well I would have to say Marty Robins was one of my all time favorites of story telling in his songs. A lot of the old country music told stories but Marty’s was about always western stories. I still listen to a lot of the older country music, loved Conway Twitty and Willy Nelson.

    • Hi Quilt Lady……Thank you for coming. Yes, Marty Robbins told all about the old west. El Paso was and still is one of my favorite ballads. I never get tired of Marty’s unique voice that lends itself to the fascinating tales of cowboys, outlaws and gunslingers. God, how I miss him!

  8. Linda, I tell people my kids learned history through listening to Marty Robbins and Johnny Horton while we were driving. LOL So many wonderful “story” songs–and you know, El Paso by Marty Robbins is my favorite song–tied with Unchained Melody by the Righteous Brothers! LOL Marty had a voice like liquid velvet, didn’t he? If he had not been a contemporary of Elvis, there’s no telling how much more famous he’d have been.

    When I was a little girl, my dad worked in the oilfields, and he’d try to bring me back a surprise when he’d been gone for days on end. Sometimes, it was a .45 record for my little record player. He brought me El Paso–I played it so much it began to skip. He had to buy me another one! El Paso is the ringtone on my cellphone, too. I have my hubby to thank for that. It doesn’t matter where we are, if my phone rings, someone nearby will smile and say, “HEY! MARTY ROBBINS!” That is such a well-known, well-loved song. Another of my faves of his is the song he sang, The Ballad of the Alamo which had been pegged for use in the John Wayne movie, but due to a rights squabble it wasn’t used. I think they used the instrumental version–only a stanza or so–at the end.

    And Johnny Horton with his songs–Sink the Bismarck, North to Alaska, Battle of New Orleans…on and on.

    I’m so glad you blogged about Robby White. He is a new artist to me.

    Also, a very very happy birthday to you today, dear friend! Hope it’s the best one yet!

    • Hi Cheryl…..I loved your comment and agree with everything. No one has or probably will ever have a voice like Marty Robbins. Oh my gosh, I could listen to him all day. And he was such a gentleman to boot! No one can beat him. He was such a storyteller. El Paso was my favorite song also. I can’t remember hearing The Ballad of the Alamo, but I’m going to have to see if it’s on You Tube. Bet it is. Johnny Horton was another good storyteller. He had one song that I can’t remember the name of that was about a cowboy riding in a blizzard and his horse freezes to death.

      Thanks for the birthday wishes. I had a very good day.

  9. I don’t know that I really have a favorite singer. There are so many out there that I enjoy. Celtic music is my first love and many of the old ballads and songs are basically stories set to music.

  10. Thank you for the kind words Linda! It was such an awesome experience for me, dreaming up “Sam Colt and Jesus” and then seeing it grow up to become a reality. Thanks for taking the journey with me!


Comments are closed.